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This is a great idea that both clears the lagoon of plastic debris, but also helps the fishermen.
CIRCUS! (A Partner Agency of Publicis Groupe Africa) in partnership with Helios Eyewear have launched the ReSight project, an initiative that aims to protect and preserve both the eyesight of the Mauritian fishermen and the environment. This project's main prerogative is to recycle the pollution collected on the fishing grounds to create high-quality eyewear with UV protection which will be distributed among fishermen to protect their eyes.
Through the ReSight project, CIRCUS! wanted to go beyond the mere message of recycling. "Our approach was to engage the Mauri-an public through something of prime importance to them: their strong bond with the lagoon and the locals who live by it," explains Vincent Montocchio, Execu-ve Crea-ve Director. "The greatest amount of plastic waste is often found on the coastline. Such pollution destroys the corals and the livelihood of fishermen. This community is affected in another way: their eyes are destroyed by exposure to the sun. The challenge was devising an idea that would address the two issues: protecting the eyes of fishermen and cleaning up the coastline. We asked: what if one problem could solve another?" adds Gareth Pretorius, Crea-ve Director. The project started with a waste collection campaign. Over 10 000 bottles were removed from the lagoons to be recycled into 2000 sunglasses.
To ensure that the circular economy concept was thoroughly understood, the fishermen for whom the glasses were intended participated in the clean-up activities held in their respective regions.
This generated a spirit of togetherness and community pride.
"We have recycled these bottles and created frames for polarized glasses," relates Nicholas Park, General Manager of Helios Eyewear. "For fishermen who spend long hours exposed to the sun's reflection on the water's surface, 100% UV protection is a must. Over the years, these rays damage the ocular -issues and can lead to various pathologies such as cataracts, keratitis, and sometimes sight loss, amongst others."
The sunglasses were distributed over four roadshows in the main fishing villages. These campaigns were marked by awareness sessions on the importance of eye health. Each fisherman had their eyes examined by an ophthalmologist.
“We are grateful to Helios and ENL for this immense gift. The sun's glare and the reflection off of the waves hurts our eyes. It's like having sand in the eyes. They are protecting our profession by protecting our sight and helping us feed our family", says France Andy, president of the Mauri-us Fishermen Cooperative Federation Ltd. ReSight has had a tangible and las-ng impact beyond the fishing community.
"We demonstrated that a brand could achieve multiple sustainability goals through a single initiative by pushing further and taking real action. With ReSight, we contributed to protect both eyesight and the coastal environment. We intend to pursue similar initiatives in our other lines of businesses and hope to inspire our peers to also try harder and do more for the people and the planet ", adds Shyama Soondur, Head of Communications at ENL Group
CIRCUS! is the leading Indian Ocean integrated communication agency. Founded
in 1995 and based in Mauritius, CIRCUS! is the most awarded agency of the
region and one of Africa's most creative agencies. The agency services clients in
Mauri-us, Seychelles, Madagascar and Kenya.